Helena’s Buck Creek Festival sees phenomenal turnout

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2023

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

HELENA – Cool fall temperatures welcomed Helena’s residents and visitors to the annual Buck Creek Festival that occurred over a two-day period on Oct. 6-7.

Held at Helena’s Amphitheater Park, this iteration marked the first time since 2021 that the event was held in the fall. The festival warmed up and opened in the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 6 with hours ranging from 6-10 p.m., but the event truly kicked off on Saturday with the festival starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7 and running until 10 p.m. that night.

“There was such a phenomenal turn out,” said JoAnna Harman, president of Helena’s Buck Creek Festival. “(I) just can’t thank everyone that showed up enough. You all are the reason we do what we do”

Featuring at least 88 vendors, visitors poured into the event and were welcomed with representation from a wide range of local artists, businesses and organizations.

On Saturday, Children were also able to enjoy a variety of activities and carnival rides that included an inflatable slide and jump-house, flying scooters, bungee trampolines and other attractions. The times for the play area were also extended from those in year’s past, to run from the opening of the day until 9 p.m., which allowed for family fun throughout the entire event.

“The kids loved it and the parents loved it too,” Harman said. “The extended hours were an excellent idea.”

In terms of music, the two-day event was filled to the brim with both variety and talent, with Love Rat and Rick Carter & Friends setting the festival off on Friday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively.

Saturday’s extensive lineup included Parkside Pickets at 10 a.m., the Helena High School Jazz Band at 11 a.m., Reba’s Finest at noon and Lelan Carter at 1:40 p.m. There were also more outstanding performances later in the day with Cahaba Grass at 3:45 p.m., Cheyloe and her Sleepless Knights at 5:15 p.m., Suburban Love Junkies at 6:45 p.m. and Jupiter Coyote at 8:30 p.m.

Attendees on Saturday were also able to witness the time-honored tradition of the Buck Creek Festival’s Duck Race, which occurred promptly at 3 p.m. Members of the Buck Creek Festival Committee were accompanied by the event’s mascot, Helen A. Duck, as they released hundreds of yellow rubber ducks over the top of Helena’s Buck Creek Dam and sent them racing down the creek.

“Thanks to Helena High School Band Boosters for another great year of the iconic duck race,” Harman said. “Despite the lack of rain, they still made it happen.”

The annual event could not have taken place if not for displays of community volunteering that were seen in abundance.

On social media, Harman thanked all of those who volunteered during the event ranging from volunteer organization, band and sound services, trash and cleanup services, manning beverage and VIP tents, organization and setup of the children’s area and everything in-between.

“I couldn’t tag everyone, so I’m sorry about that,” Harman said. “And I’m certain there’s someone crucial that I’ve overlooked in my exhausted state. Please know if you were there at all, you are appreciated.”

Organizers and city officials also extended thanks to the festival’s numerous sponsors that helped support another successful year. Those sponsors included:

  • Gulf Distributing – Presenting Sponsors
  • Vulcan Materials – Presenting Sponsors
  • Discover Shelby – Presenting Sponsors
  • Coca-Cola – Presenting Sponsors
  • Central State Bank – Patron Sponsors
  • Steakhouse of Helena – Patron Sponsors
  • Hey Bebe – Patron Sponsors
  • Oversoul Brewing – Official Sponsors
  • Cahaba Dental Arts – Official Sponsors
  • Helena High School Band Boosters – Official Sponsors
  • El Tejano – Official Sponsors
  • Soul Story Therapy – Official Sponsors
  • Brian D Hayes – Official Sponsors
  • Chick-Fil-A Helena – Official Sponsors
  • Regulators MC Cahaba – Official Sponsors
  • Danielle Portera Lang Fine Art – Official Sponsors
  • Uptown Salon – Activity Sponsors
  • Old Town Realty Group – Activity Sponsors
  • Cedar Creek Nursery – Activity Sponsors
  • Hughes Jewelry – Contributing Sponsors